Blyk, a new mobile network for 16 - 24s that's funded by
advertising launched Monday. Blyk links young people with advertising and gives
them free texts and minutes every month. It offers subscribers 217 free texts and 42 free minutes in exchange for
accepting MMS (picture messaging) and SMS (text) advertising after that it's 0.15 (BP) a minute.
In order to join users have to be 16-24 years old, live in
mainland Britain, own a phone with MMS and be invited. After
registering the teen gets a new SIM for his/her phone. Blyk
expects to launch in other parts of Europe in the future.
Comment from Mobile & Wireless News:
Knowing teens, those free minutes should run out in about 42 minutes after receiving the SIM.
Blyk Goes Live
The world's first advertising funded mobile network for 16-24 year olds launches in the UK
London, 24 September, 2007 - Blyk, the new mobile network for 16 to
24 year olds today announced the launch of its UK service. The
announcement was made by the company founders Pekka Ala-Pietilä and
Antti Öhrling at a press launch event in London this morning.
Blyk is an invitation-only mobile virtual network operator (MVNO)
that links young people with brands they like and gives them free texts
and minutes every month.
For brands, Blyk is an innovative, new media channel, providing
direct access to the 16-24 year old market; enabling them to create
awareness, build relationships and drive sales to this hard to reach
Since its conception early last year, Blyk has been undertaking
extensive research in the UK with user group studies and live user
trials. These have helped to make the offering extremely compelling for
young people and advertisers alike.
Pekka Ala-Pietilä said: "We have spent the last year developing a
unique, robust advertising content engine and whilst the technology we
are using is incredibly advanced, the main premise of Blyk is driven by
3 basic principles - ease of use, interaction and relevance of the
Blyk understands the importance of relevancy in communication and
has built its system to enable this. By means of profile questions at
sign-up and ongoing SMS polling during membership Blyk Media enables
brands to target messages like no other medium. Response rates have
also been exceptionally high, with some testers reportedly missing the
service at the end of the trial.
Further to this Öhrling said: "We found that what is 90% familiar
and 10% new leads to the best user experience. So, the Blyk
communications formats are based on the most dominant and most familiar
pattern among 16-24s: Getting a message and responding to it. Both
picture and text."
Brands will be able to engage Blyk members in question/response type
interactions. For members these interactions are free. For advertisers
all responses and interactions by members are tracked, giving great
accountability to the campaign.
"We found throughout our research that this simple, familiar type of
interaction leads to tremendous response rates. " says Öhrling.
Speaking at the network's launch in London today, Pekka Ala-Pietilä said:
"Our free offer is 217 texts and 43 minutes every month and this
could mean no more phone bills for up to 4.5 million young people in
the UK - with no contract. We have the brands that want to speak to
them too, with more than 40 already signed up for the launch. This
group represents almost every industry sector there is."
"It's going to spread because, at the heart of it, it's got a
creative idea. A mobile phone network that's funded by advertising;
that's something you want to tell people about. Fundamentally it's the
interaction that young people do most on their mobile phone: receiving
and responding to a message." says Antti Öhrling.
Blyk is the new mobile network for 16 - 24s that's funded by
advertising. Blyk links young people with brands they like and gives
them free texts and minutes every month. Blyk was co-founded in 2006 by
Pekka Ala-Pietilä and Antti Öhrling and has offices in Helsinki,
Finland and London, UK. Blyk is now operating in the UK, with other
European markets to follow.